St. John’s Day is observed every year across the world on December 27. The day is also known as the “Feast of St. John.” St. John was the author of the fourth gospel and the book of “Revelation.” He is often shown alongside other gospel writers like Matthew, Mark, and Luke or sitting at the foot of the cross opposite Mary. The saint is represented by the eagle. He was also the subject of several Catholic narratives, like Giotto’s frescoes in the Peruzzi Chapel at Santa Croce in Florence and Filippino Lippi. He is an important figure in Roman Catholicism.
History of St John History
A saint’s feast day is usually celebrated on the day of their death. However, St. John and the Virgin Mary are the only two saints whose birthdays are celebrated instead. St. John’s Day was the feast day of St. John — the Baptist across Europe. The reason for it might be because the timing coincided with older pagan holidays celebrating the summer solstice. Today, the feast day is celebrated in countries such as Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. People celebrate the day by lighting bonfires. They also believed that during the summer solstice, the spirits roamed freely.
Bonfires were lit to ward off evil spirits and protect themselves from harm. Eventually, people also started to believe that during the summer solstice, witches and dragons also needed to be kept away with bonfires. In the “Gospel of Luke,” John the Baptist is described as a relative of Jesus who spearheaded the movement of baptism at the Jordan River. Theologians claim that John baptized Jesus by wading into the water with Jesus in the river.
St. John is best known for the foretelling of the Messiah or the coming of Jesus. According to the “Gospel of Mark,” John was imprisoned by Herod for criticizing Herod’s incestuous marriage. John condemned Herod for marrying his niece, something that was strictly prohibited in the Old Testament Law. But it would be in Herod’s wife where he’d tragically meet his death. Herod’s wife asked for the head of John the Baptist, which was delivered to her on a plate.
St John History timeline
St. John is born to Zebedee and Salome.
His tomb is said to be located in Ephesus.
His grave is converted into a shrine.
The dust near his grave is said to have healing powers.
St John History FAQs
When is the feast day of St. John the Apostle?
It is celebrated each year on December 27, the birthday of St. John.
What countries celebrate St. John's Day?
The day is celebrated in European countries such as Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Latvia, and Lithuania.
What is St. John the Baptist the patron saint of?
John the Baptist is the patron saint of builders, tailors, printers, and people who need healing from spasms or seizures.
How to Observe St John History
Attend the church
Many churches organize special masses on St. John’s Day. Celebrate St. John’s Day by attending the church and a mass. Pay your respects to the great saint and seek his blessings.
Read about his life
You can also celebrate St. John’s Day by reading about his life. St. John’s life has been well-documented in history and there are several works of theology that provide a comprehensive account of his life.
Do charity work
St. John’s Day can also be celebrated by doing charity work. Find out the philanthropic work that your local church is involved with and join hands with them. You can also donate to non-profits of your liking.
5 Facts About Christianity That Will Blow Your Mind
It is the world’s largest religion
An estimated 2.4 billion people are Christians.
There are three main branches of Christianity
These are Catholicism, Orthodox, and Protestantism.
The first book to be printed
The Bible was the first to be printed in 1455.
It is one of three Abrahamic religions
The other two are Judaism and Islam.
It is a monotheistic religion
Meaning, that Christians believe in only one god.
Why St John History is Important
It’s a unique holiday
Most feast days are celebrated on the death day of a saint, but St. John’s Day is one of two feast days that’s celebrated on the birthday of the saint! This unique reason is what makes St. John’s Day even more special.
It’s an ancient tradition
St. John’s Day has seeped into ancient traditions. The festival which has been celebrated for more than a thousand years is a unique combination of ancient traditions and modern rituals.
A truly global celebration
St. John’s Day is celebrated across Europe and in many countries outside it. Since so many people celebrate the feast, it builds kinship among Christians and helps them feel like a part of a bigger community.
St John History dates